Religious Life is a form of consecrated life. There are many different Religious Orders and Congregations each of which contributes a particular gift to the life of the Church. Religious (men and women in these Institutes) make vows that help them to be free to follow Christ with an undivided heart. The three vows that most religious make are of life-long celibacy, poverty and obedience. These are also known as the ‘evangelical counsels’. Religious serve the Lord and the Church in their Institutes, by ministering in churches, schools, hospitals and clinics, counseling centres, orphanages, refugee and rehabilitation centres and anywhere else where there is a need for them to serve God in His people. Many male religious are priests but there is also a strong tradition of religious brothers in the Church. Religious usually live in a community, where they support each other, in prayer, in ministry and in providing for the daily needs of each one. Just like life in a family, community life has its struggles, but in seeking to live charitably with one another, people of different ages, backgrounds and temperaments witness to Christian communion and to the fact that the love of Christ is stronger than anything which may divide them.

FAITH OF OUR FATHERS

February 2 – The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Forty days after the birth of the Lord Jesus,Mary and Joseph brought Him to present Him to God in the Temple in fulfillment of the Law of Moses. The feast points back to Christmas and is also known as Candlemas day, since the blessing and procession of candles are included in the liturgy. The candles symbolize Christ, the Light of the world

World Day of Consecrated Life has been celebrated on February 2nd since 1997. The purpose of this Day is threefold: first of all to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of consecrated life; secondly to promote knowledge and appreciation of it among the whole people of God and lastly to invite all those who have dedicated their life totally to the cause of the Gospel to celebrate the marvels that the Lord has worked in them. Throughout this Year of Consecrated Life and especially on February 2nd let us remember to pray for those who have been called to serve God by dedicating their entire life to Him. May their lives always be a witness to God and may they constantly point everyone that they meet to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.

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